Monday, April 30, 2007

Apple TV - Why I'm not buying it.

So in an effort to further dominate your wallet and your living room, Apple has brough us the Apple TV.

A sleek, simple device that even your mother would love. And perhaps use.

But it's a broken product.

Look, here's the deal. People who would buy this device have media coming out of every storage compartment, entertainment center, hard drive, usb thumb drive, CD player, DVD changer, etc. We have content everywhere. And we all want it in one place. And then we want to be able to access it from just about anywhere.

Now that is all currently doable. It's just not that easy to do it and it's not cheap to do it and it's not reliable. And it's sure not sexy like the Apple TV.

But the Apple TV is a glorified iTunes extender. And that limits everything. Some may give in and become 100% converts to the Apple way. And that's fine for those people. But the majority will continue to be frustrated.

Look MPAA and NAB, people rip their DVDs onto their laptops and their desktops to watch their movies (and surely the ones they've rented). It's already happening. Embrace it! Stop trying to get more money from us just because we want to consume the content that we've already paid for in a different way.

And when we rip it we convert it to a format that saves space like mpeg-4, DVIX, XVID. H.264. Whatever. Insert new compression here.

Hey, RIAA, we rip our CDs onto our PCs and move the songs all over the place. We make mix CDs and we put playlists on multiple players. Get over it.

Why do I mention these oft-hated organizations in the same rant as the Apple TV commentary? Because Cupertino Steve undoubtedly keeps the legal wolves and the competition to iTunes (none) at bay by crippling his products and hiding those shortcomings by relabeling them as features. The Apple faithful drink it in, mesmerized by the magic turtleneck.

No Divx/xvid support? Are you paying attention Apple? People are using that format. Big time. It's MP3 for video now. Why are you ignoring the new MP3? Oh, H.264? Yes, we know, it's better. It's Apple. Right, but you're the only one's using it right now.

Oh, by the way, a 40GB hard drive? Where the hell did they find a 40GB hard drive? Old unsold iPods? Come on, make that box a little bigger and stick a big desktop drive in there. Or give us the external USB option.

Rev 2 of this white box will still be crippled. Hopefully D-Link and Netgear and Linksys are paying attention to the design and can "borrow" some of the niceties of the Apple TV (along with wireless N please) for their own media players.

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